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Identity Crisis – ‘People of Assam’ instead of Assamese

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By- Dr Abhizeet Asom

Upon divisive fratricidal dirty machinations by the colonial India against the land and the people of Assam no sign of halting, I felt the need to make this important statement.

Many people of our beloved land instead of being an Assamese first, choosing to identify themselves with his or her indigenous identity becoming a common place, colonial India is finding it easier to conspire against the interest of Assam. The indigenous peoples rightly or wrongly hold the view that the Assamese speaking plains people of Assam wants to continue to rule over the rest. In this emotionally charged stance, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has never taken sides nor will it do so in the future. However we acutely appreciate that our social fabric is now akin to a split bamboo. If in the future a greater Assamese identity is re-discovered it will be as a result of spontaneity of the desire of the masses.

The ULFA is in the opinion that the word Assamese inevitably has now become a limited representative vehicle and the People of Assam deemed to be more meaningful instead. We realized that if continued use of the word Assamese to mean the whole population of Assam excludes even one indigenous group of the land, in the ULFA philosophy the word has outlived its usability. Hence we have decided to use People of Assam to represent bonafide inhabitants of Assam. However on the event of general consensus by the inhabitants the word Assamese is accepted without controversy we shall be more than happy to re-use it again.

Despite the identity orientation difficulties in our land, we want to re-iterate that ULFA recognizes equal rights for each indigenous person. However, to enable us to deliver the social justice and equality, we need help and support from all quarters of the people of Assam. Without such co-operation we cannot be successful in fulfilling our aims. Our adversary is very much aware of this fact. The application of the so- called 6th Schedule of the Indian constitution as a divisive policy is very apparent. This sort of dispensation brings on only temporary rewards. Gopinath Bordoloi took Assam inside India with the promise of safeguarding of the indigenous identity of Assam as outlined in the Bordoloi Resolution and how the Indian Constitution discarded it along with the assured safety of Assam’s future is understood by all today. The so-called 6th Schedule dispensation is also another short lived assurance. In the Indian Union concept of eventual one Nation, one Language and one Culture, the all consuming unification is just matter of time.

Dear People of Assam, you must be aware that the Indian constitution recognizes the cast system. Under Indian rule our Mongoloid races will continue to suffer neglect. These people will always be looked down upon by Aryans people of India and by some in Assam too resulting in continued prejudices and abuse.

Reflecting on the Assamese proverb, “A split bamboo cannot be made good again”, we can atleast be assured that with mathematical artistry a split bamboo can be made into a something creative and useful. Similarly upon Sovereignty restoration all our peoples could contribute to rebuild an Assam they all want to see. We in the ULFA are resolute in our commitment that we shall create solid political instruments learning from the varied successful countries of the world that would allow self-determination of nationalities inside our geographical boundary. All nationalities will be master of their own destiny. Proportional representation will lead to majority of the tribes on the Central Political leadership. The transparent administrative mechanism will expose proficiencies, inefficiencies, corruption nepotism etc permitting easy scrutiny by the public on their local or the executive central setup. In contrast the acceptance of the morsels offered by the 6th Schedule from the Indian Constitution is consenting to be recognized as a sub-human untouchable as dictated by India’s caste system and be oppressed.

Are you going to tolerate the oppression and killing policy by the Indian security forces ad infinitum? We must stand united to end these all. If you want to protect and propagate your own identity, language and culture, ULFA’s vision can guarantee it, as, we intend to include provisions of free association like that of the Cook Island and Niue of New Zealand or to be associated countries similar to EU and Swiss relationship to enable all of us to prosper together which the Indian Constitution is not able to offer. Indian constitution demands uniformity, but we stand for unity in diversity.

Being a party to India’s conspiracy and breaking up of today’s geographical Assam further will not help any of the indigenous people. Such divisions will fulfill the ambitions of few so-called leaders of the clan and this is exactly what is happening in the 6th Schedule dispensation at present.

Hence this is an ardent call to the Bodos, Karbi, Dimasas and all other indigenous peoples of Assam to join the United Liberation Movement to throw off the Indian yoke. Once we achieve that, we can sit together and look at options objectively and work out the most suitable and viable road map to success. We can always consider afore mentioned Cook Island and Niue or EU Association or any other ideation in coming to a decision. We should be able to even expand our ideation to the other Nationalities of the Western South East Asian region fighting for national self-determination. Once we free ourselves from the clutch of India we shall have the freedom to work on mutual solution scenario or go on our own ways as separate Sovereign Independent States. But staying with India and allowing Assam to be divided again or just to avail the meager advantage of the 6th Schedule of the Indian Statue, bound to create enmity and further bloodshed between our peoples. I would like to urge the aggrieved sections of my country to rise above the unfortunate tendency of divisiveness amongst peoples egged on by the agents of the Indian State taking advantage of a notorious section of Assamese hegemony. Everyone must understand that the Indian colonialism is our common enemy and there is no other alternative but to fight united to defeat it.

This statement of mine painting a clear vision of the future of our land is likely to shake the Indian rulers to the core. I expect increased oppressive measures and murderous acts to frighten people to submission. All of us standing up against these atrocities shoulder to shoulder and resisting India could be the only path to ascertain our survival.

The Author is the Chairman of United Liberation Front of Asom(ULFA).

DISCLAIMER: This article doesn’t bear any liability or dispute. Times of Assam published it as found verified and under criteria to publish in this portal.

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Identity Crisis – ‘People of Assam’ instead of Assamese

By: Times of Assam Bureau Read time: 6 min